Espai Cràter will start operating this March. Promoted by Olot City Council, the center was created with the aim of promoting knowledge about volcanoes, science and society. Located at the foot of the Montsacopa volcano, Espai Cràter aims to serve as a meeting point for the educational, social and scientific community. At the same time, it wants to generate new opportunities for the different sectors of the city, but especially for trade and hospitality, which in the last two years have been severely damaged as a result of the situation generated by the pandemic.
With the opening of Espai Cràter, the city and the region will have a new exhibition center that will replace the Volcano Museum, which has just turned 30 years old. It responds to the desire to update this center and ensure that a volcanic territory such as La Garrotxa has a space for knowledge of volcanoes where the visit itself becomes an interactive experience.
The building, part of the visitor experience
The architects Toni Casamor and Anna Codina are the authors of the building - of 1,272 m2 - which is conceived as another element of the experience: it is buried and inside a volcano (the Puig del Roser).
Espai Cràter explains the volcanoes of La Garrotxa and the world, as well as the particular relationship between volcanoes and their environment. It does so in a fully interactive way and through various expository languages: audiovisuals, immersive experiences, photographs, virtual reality or video mapping. A fun way to learn and get to know the area. It has one with a model of 15 m2, which explains the formation of La Garrotxa with proposals for games and other elements to learn. A large chalk slope presides over the exhibition. It corresponds to the same location of the Puig del Roser volcano and is located at the most central point of the main room of Espai Cràter, curated by Joan Martí Molist, director of Geosciences Barcelona - CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas).
In addition to the exhibition hall (the Chamber), the Espai Cràter has a space reserved for educational activities (the Bufador Classroom); an auditorium with a capacity for 110 people to host cultural events (the Sala Magma) and an area designed to accommodate stays or small format presentations (the Seismic Zone), on the first floor of the building which, being buried, has allowed to create an urban park of 3,000 m2. In line with the project's philosophy of addressing the global challenges affecting the local level, Crater Space is a sustainable building, which uses mostly geothermal energy. It has 17 wells 100 m deep, and does not consume any fossil energy for its operation, elements that are also visible from the exhibition hall.
More than 2,000 people have already booked their visit to Espai Cràter
Espai Cràter also wants to be a reference pedagogical center in Catalonia that offers educational activities for all ages. In order to create an inclusive and valuable educational proposal, a Socio-educational Project has been developed with the UdG and the environmental education companies of the territory, which has laid the foundations of the guide of educational activities. For this 2022, Espai Cràter offers ten integrative workshops, for the different educational levels and designed to awaken the scientific and research spirit in the students.
Due to the importance that volcanoes have for La Garrotxa and the interest that their study has generated as a result of the eruption of the volcano of La Palma, at the moment the school visits for the first months of operation are already practically full.
As a scientific space, Espai Cràter wants to become a national and international reference in the field of volcanology, forging alliances with schools, institutions and entities in order to promote projects and activities. The first step has been the signing of an agreement with the CSIC, which allows it to access the most important scientific space in the state and be able to be an active part of large-scale international research and impact projects.
Espai Cràter will also have a program of activities to reach everyone. Exhibitions, debates, workshops, music and small-format theater… will have their place in this new facility which, for this 2022, will already host a new edition of Volcanology Week, the series of talks “The great questions of the science ”and the“ Challenges of the 21st Century ”, the Green Schools Forum of La Garrotxa, the Congress of Young and Young Scientists, among many other initiatives of a program that will soon be presented.
At the moment, more than 2,000 people from organized groups (schoolchildren and adults) have already reserved their tickets for Espai Cràter before its presentation and launch.
A dynamizing element of the territory
The location of Espai Cràter in the Roser d'Olot sector connects this new facility with the city center with the aim of becoming a dynamite element of the economic activity carried out there. It wants to contribute to the much-needed job creation and economic recovery of sectors that, such as trade and catering, have been severely affected by the pandemic and that employ more than 5,000 people in La Garrotxa.
Espai Cràter is a contemporary project that works in an innovative, experiential and participatory way to address the global challenges that affect the local level. A territory facility that generates value in the region of La Garrotxa, developing economic and social sustainability. It is an equipment with a very important external financing. With a budget of € 4.5 million (VAT included), it has been possible thanks to the contribution of various institutions: 70% of its funding comes from the European Union, the Diputació de Girona and the Generalitat de Catalunya and 30 % remaining, of the City council of Olot.
Free admission for residents of La Garrotxa until the end of the year
Espai Cràter will start operating in March and will be open from Monday to Sunday. Tickets can be purchased in the coming weeks (€ 7 general ticket price). Guided tours will be offered on weekends and there will be monthly family workshop schedules.
The residents of La Garrotxa will have free admission to Espai Cràter until the end of the year. For more information on this new facility in the city of Olot, you can consult the espaicrater.com website and follow its news through its Instagram profile @espai_crater and the social networks of Olot City Council.